After seeing his teammate Zach Aston-Reese graduate and sign a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks prospect Adam Gaudette will return to Northeastern for one more season according to Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. There had been some thought that he would leave school early and join the Canucks organization, but Kuzma reports he’ll stay at least one more year to add strength.
It’s a good plan for Gaudette, who showed just about as much as any fifth-round pick could in 2016-17. In just 37 games for Northeastern, the 6’1″ 184-lbs center scored 26 goals and 52 points and showed his incredible skill on a nightly basis. More creative than Aston-Reese, he nevertheless trailed him in goals and points all season long due to the undrafted Penguins’ prospect being a dominant net presence.
Gaudette played the half-wall on the powerplay and was often a setup man for Aston-Reese in front of the net, but does tend to drift in his own end on occasion. He’ll need to clean up his defensive zone play and make sure he’s engaging physically every night before making the jump to professional hockey.
For now, he’ll go back and try to battle for the NCAA scoring title next season. Though there is no indication of this, he could technically stay for his senior year and then become a free agent in the summer of 2019. Canucks fans shouldn’t worry just yet though, as that is still a long way away for the 20-year old.